Summary: The Russian government is predictable and has not changed its playbook much over the decades. I knew him as Chief Master Sargent John Matles, a career United States Air Force Airman. As the story goes, his humble beginnings as an orphan, who at a very young age worked at a Ford plant where he slept on the floor, led to a career of discipline and service to his country. He spent a career dedicated and diligently making efforts to learn and put into perspective certain people and events of the time in Russia, South America and Europe. Out of this, came his strategic recommendations. This story is in the form of letters I came across which draw a picture in history from his perspective. Matles was a man who spoke many languages and was interested in knowing people from poor to powerful in many countries. Almost like “Forest Gump” he turned up at important events in history. Was he in military intelligence? We always wondered but it was never spoken of and he took that information to his grave. Alert: These letters are 70ish years old, they were written on a manual typewriter, some parts are illegible, but you will get the gist.
CZ review: We really like this story from the past. It is not only a different time but a unique person gathering insights and sharing them with his superior’s. It is also insightful to be reminded of the Russian government playbook, and how little it has changed. While the Russian people would be much better off joining the civilized world, the Russian government continues to be the enemy of the USA and democracy. We note that in a place like Russia, citizens typically do not think of the government as representing them or their interests, more commonly, as an oppressor to be feared. We only give this 3 stars due to the quality of print.